Why marketing is like dating (and how to get customers to swipe right)

They say marketing is a lot like being in a romantic relationship.

And given that I’ve recently graduated from a 12 year relationship into 2 weeks of married life, I’m expecting to unlock some new level of marketing wizardry soon. 

...I’ll keep you posted on that one. 

In the meantime, and in the spirit of this month of love, this post is all about how you can attract NEW customers and fill your calendar using some of the the same tactics you might already be using in your romantic relationships.

Ready to take your enquiries up a notch? Here’s what you need to be doing—

1. Get their details

Think about the last time you had a crush on someone. As you got to know them, you probably started collecting little details about your new belle or beau. Like the weird way they ate cheezels, their coffee order, dream to become a beekeeper or the brand of their favourite perfume.

I want you to do the same thing with your customers. Because getting specific about who your ideal customers are will help you to create the offers, write the copy, create the insta posts and design a brand that attracts those people.

Go beyond what’s on their facebook profile (any ol stalker can do that). You need to talk to them, get to know what drives them, what they value, what keeps them awake at night, and what they want for their future. 

Take action: Get to know more about your customer than their age and hometown. Use surveys, interviews and conversations to learn their deeper needs, values and desires.

2. Tap into their want match

When trying to convince your significant other to do something with you, do you—

  • a) Tell them they have to go or ‘it’s over’
  • b) Tell them all the reasons why you want to go
  • c) Tell them all the reasons they might like to go based on what you know they like

I hope you picked c.

Because the same logic applies to your customers. 

Once you know what your audience wants, you can create an offer (product or service) that matches that want and talk about it in a way that highlights the features and benefits they’ll love. 

So many people have a disconnect between what their customers want and what they’re offering. They sell a self-education product to an audience who doesn’t have the time to learn. Or a high-priced offer to people who barely have a budget.

If you want your customers to fall in love with your offer, you need to create a product or service that aligns with their desires. You need to sell them what they want, not what you think they need. 

Take action: Your customer’s preferences, lifestyle and values will directly influence the type of offer that appeals most to them. Once you know your customer, you can create one or multiple offers that match their needs and wants.

3. Be the real-deal

Could you imagine if you were dating someone who only ever talked about their wins, accomplishments and how great everything was? It’d be weird, right? At a certain point you might start to question their sincerity, because every single person on the planet experiences both highs and lows in life.

In fact, stories of failures and fears can help others to bond with you. They can help your audience to sidestep your mistakes. And they can also serve as evidence that you’re not unlike them, and any success you’ve achieved is possible for them too.

I’m sure you’re a likeable person. Your mum knows it. Your friends know it. And you want your customers to know it too. Why? Because people buy from those they like! Sharing some of the mistakes you’ve made on your journey (as well as the wins and accolades) can help you build rapport and connection with your audience.

Take action: Build relatability by sharing stories about both your wins and your losses. Be sure to keep them genuine, true and relevant to what your business is about.  

4. Pop the questions

Every great relationship, collaboration and friendship starts with an ask. Generally, these start out small and get progressively higher in both risk and reward as you build trust. You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on a first date, and the same goes in marketing.

In your business, you might start with a small request, like asking someone to comment on your instagram post or asking for an email address in exchange for a freebie. And eventually that graduates to asking them to work with or buy from you. 

The 2 big problems many people (including yours truly) have encountered when building their audience are—

  1. They don’t want to be too pushy, so they never ask for anything
  2. They train their audience to receive a lot of value without needing to do or pay anything. 

That means when they DO finally ask for a sale, their audience is like ‘why would I pay when you always give me so much great value without me lifting a finger?’

Smart people.

That’s why regularly asking your audience to engage, take action and pay for the value your delivery is essential for your profitability and even their own results. 

Because, when we pay, we pay attention. 

Take action: Free value definitely has its place in building trust, but if you want to be profitable don’t forget to also ask your audience to be active and invest in their own development as you get to know each other.  

5. Persistence pays

The first time Kane asked me out I said no. But he came back a month later, and I said yes. 

In love and in business, I believe—

  1. Not everyone you reach is going to want to buy in.
  2. Not everyone you reach is going to buy in straight away.

Often it takes multiple engagements with your brand for someone to take action (especially if you’re selling high priced products or services). That might mean showing up in their inbox, in an ad, in search engines, in their facebook news feed and instagram feed. 

Think about it— how many times has something shown up in your feed and you think ‘oh that looks interesting’ but you don’t have time to look at it further? You think ‘it’ll pop up again’ but it doesn’t. If what you do or sell can help your customers, you owe it to them to show up again and again.  

It’s really easy to be disheartened when you put a lot of time into creating content and you hear crickets. In that situation, you could take it as a personal rejection, or you could use it as evidence of what your audience doesn't respond well to and change up your game plan. 

Take action: Not everyone you reach will take you up on your offer, and not everyone will take action immediately. It pays to be consistent and persistent. 

Attracting your dream clients isn’t unlike attracting your dream partner.

And while finding new clients might sound trickier than finding a lover, the same principles apply—

  • Know who you want (and who you don't);
  • Support them to get what they want;
  • Be real and transparent;
  • Ask them to spend time and engage with you; and 
  • Be persistent and consistent about showing up in their lives.

When you put it like that, it sounds simple, but I know it’s definitely not always easy. Stay committed to your vision, keep showing up and I have no doubt you’ll fill your calendar with incredible clients very soon.

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